The Quick 10: 10 Undignifed Deaths

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I don't know that there is ever a particularly dignified way to die, I guess, but these 10 seemed especially unseemly. Note to self: don't do drugs while sitting on the toilet. Well, don't do drugs at all. You know what I mean.

1. Chris Farley. We all know he died of an accidental overdose, but it's rumored that he had hired an exotic dancer to keep him company the night of his death. When he collapsed, the dancer thought he was doing one of his comic routines, snapped a picture, and left. If there's truth to this story, my guess is that she knew exactly what was happening and didn't want to be implicated in anything.

2. Lenny Bruce. Famous comedian Lenny Bruce died in his bathroom. A quick Google search will surely net you a photo of how he was found, if you're interested. If you're like me and prefer to read about it, he was naked with a syringe and a burned bottle cap lying near him.

3. Elvis, of course. No, he didn't die on the toilet, like everyone says, but it was pretty close. He was sitting there when he became ill (the placement of vomit and vomit stains indicated this in the official report, anyway) and then stumbled a few feet away to where he died. An undignified death, whether he was actually sitting on it or not.

fauve4. Felix Faure. Faure was the President of France from 1895 until his death in 1899. Although the official cause is "apoplexy", which at the time meant anything from stroke to heart attack, it was likely brought on by the fact that he was, um, in a delicate position with his 30-year-old mistress.
5. Nelson Rockefeller. Gerald Ford's second-in-command died just two years after his term ended. The conditions were similar to President Faure's. Although first reports said Rockefeller was at his office, working dilligently on a book about his extensive collection of art, it was later confirmed as a lie. He was actually with his 26-year-old assistant Megan Marshack. Although his family has never confirmed this, and Megan Marshack declines all interviews, a long-time Rockefeller associate and aide, Joe Persico, confirmed that the two were alone in "undeniably intmate circumstances."

6. Orville Redenbacher. His isn't so bad, but he was found dead in his bathroom like so many others. No, it wasn't a speedball that did the 88-year-old popcorn king in, it was the Whirlpool. Sadly, Orville drowned when he had a heart attack in the spa.

judy7. Judy Garland. Yes, Dorothy Gale from Kansas died on the pot. Her new husband, Mickey Dean, discovered that Judy was missing and the bathroom door was locked. Desperate, he climbed to the roof to look through the bathroom window and found Judy sitting on the toilet, slumped forward. She had died several hours earlier (he was asleep at the time) from an overdose of barbiturates.
8. Pope John XII was anything but holy. And he definitely didn't uphold that whole celibacy vow. In fact, he died when one of his lovers' husbands walked in on the two of them and bludgeoned the Pope to death.

9. Jean Danielou was a French Cardinal whose death may or may not have been undignified. Well, it was, but whether he was there for undignified purposes or not remains to be seen: he was in the stairwell of a brothel when he died. Although many suspected Pope John-like sinning, many people said that he often visited brothels "“ to pray with and counsel the destitute women who were selling themselves.

cass10. Mama Cass. Her death wasn't actually undignified, but the rumors that have surrounded her 1974 death definitely are. And here's the official word: she did not choke to death on a ham sandwich. Cass Elliot was found dead in her bed, and a policeman simply observed that there was a half-eaten sandwich nearby and wondered if it had contributed to her death. But the autopsy didn't find any food in her trachea at all. The official cause was heart failure "“ Cass died in her sleep.

January 22, 2009 - 11:19am
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